SELMA **** This is such a fine, true, important film – both for U.S. history and in honor of a great leader – that it should have walked away with best film, best actor, best direction and editing. It should have taken all the awards it deserved, and did not get. Except for only one, the inspiring hymn Glory, which took the Oscar for Best Song. Once again, life is not fair.
This account of the 1965 march from Selma, Alabama – a crucial moment in the annals of the American Negro’s struggle for equality and their legitimate rights – is brilliantly directed by the female activist Ava DuVernay. She chose Nigerian/British actor David Oyelowo to portray the great Martin Luther King, creating that distinct aura of authority, calm and strength that are emblematic of rare leaders such as King, Mandela or Ghandi. How he took on the Southern accent and the grandeur of the man is something to behold. He is brilliant and charismatic, supported by a strong ensemble cast.
Thinking back on the film, it must have been in color, but I remember it as black-and-white. For that is the feeling it inspires and the mood it creates, of a dual-colored world of inequity and senseless injustice. Such a film is so vital to the history of a people that as I walked out, I felt it should be shown in every high school all over America. So that one does not forget. Especially the youth of a nation, who will be creating its future.
(Photos – Pathe Films)
STILL ALICE ***
Alice is a lucid, intelligent, happily married woman in her 50s. She is a professor of linguistics, a
loving wife and mother. She simply has it all. Until telltale signs of memory loss begin to point to something more serious than mere forgetfulness. When she is diagnosed with an early form of Alzheimer’s, her world begins to implode. Julianne Moore does a delicate job of portraying the shattering effects such a discovery would have on anyone, and she walked away with many of the awards of the season, including the Oscar for Best Actress.
There have been other films on this subject, more moving and multi-layered, such as the 2006 film Away From Her, starring Julie Christie, or the 2001 film Iris, starring Judi Dench. Those zeroed in on the characters, whereas this story leaves you chilled and frightened at the stark reality that Alzheimer’s could happen to anyone.
(Photos – Frenetic Films)
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Germany and Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers